Saturday, January 21, 2017

When They Go Low, You Go High

So said Michelle Obama during the presidential campaign that, despite highlighting Trump's worst behaviours, saw him crowned as president. And yesterday saw his inauguration in Washington D.C.

There was a bit of a difference from when Obama became president, just a teensy, weensy bit.
It was the weather that kept the crowds away...or they forgot....or....

His equally abhorrent VP - Pence, who believes gay people can be "cured".

So today was the #womensmarch and it went global. If yesterday filled everyone with dread then today showed that hope is still alive. Starting in New Zealand and Australia, with the timezone differences, it grew in strength as each continent woke up, made their placards and hopped on the bus or train.

Follow these links to see what happened in Denver, Chicago, Washington D.C., St Louis. You get the idea. Since yesterday the White House website has scrapped their pages on LGBT rights, climate change, immigration, health care. Trump is going to be every bit as bad as imagined. Never mind about giving him a chance. A chance to do what? He has shown what he intends to do and it's not good (unless you're an old, white, rich man or are married to one).

A friend said to me the other day (on Trump) that the darkest hour is before the dawn. I think we have our new dawn. Now if people would just protest against injustice here like

Friday, January 13, 2017

Friday 13th

It wasn't the mad masked man, Jason Voorhees, who showed up to ruin the day but my own bad penny version. I wish I was strong enough not to let it turn me upside down but I guess I never will be. The worst part is that it worked it's way between Eldest son and so I sit tonight with a gut-wrenching sadness.

At times like this, I feel adrift, that I wish it would end. Even though I'm aware of how completely unreasonable I'm being. Ten years on and I should have moved away from this but I can't and that's something I have to deal with. Perhaps it's me. It's probably me.

I mustn't leave it like this so here is a comforting image from Elsa Beskow. I've lost my inspiration to draw and paint, I need to get that back, for my own wellbeing. Let that be the anchor that holds me fast when all is churning around me.

Elsa Beskow:

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

It's Cold and January

You would think that being a winter month hints at the temperature to expect but thanks to mild winters caused by climate change (oh, yes) we've been lulled into a comfortable laziness over the cold.

And it does feel colder today than it has for a while. And I hear people in the shop today moan at how chilly it is. It's been just over six years since scenes like this stretched from November until early March.

I admit to having wished for a snowy winter every year since. Especially as, unlike last time, I won't be expected to drive through storms late at night to get to work.

Monday, January 09, 2017

Green Woodpecker ~ Charles F Tunnicliffe

Familiar to anyone fortunate enough to own vintage Ladybird books or to those old enough to have read the originals, Charles Tunnicliffe illustrations brought each subject to life.

He was much more than the illustrator of children's stories, as wonderful and inspiring as those little books were. Born in Macclesfield, England in 1901 he studied at the school of art there before winning a scholarship to the Royal College of Art in London. He later moved to Anglesey, Wales.

Known best for his naturalistic scenes, he worked in several media - including watercolour, woodcut and oil. As well as the Ladybird books, he illustrated many RSPB magazine covers and was a recipient of the RSPB Gold Medal.

After his death in 1979, his personal collection of work was bequeathed to Anglesey council as long as they were kept together and made available for public viewing.

They can be seen at Oriel Ynys Môn gallery.

Saturday, January 07, 2017

Of all the things to come across during a browse on YouTube but one which features a very brief glimpse of little me. It's very strange to see but I remember my mother (who took the photo) talking of local historian and film-maker, Eddie Smith, wanting a copy of the photograph which graced the wall of our living room and now is probably tucked up somewhere in my attic.

We lived in the little cottage next to the large white building, which had been a subscription school but was a community hall the entire time I knew it. Sadly, I think it's privately owned now. Our house had been built in 1806, weird that I know the history of each building in my little row.

Lots of familiar faces in this video and I'm sure my dad and mum are in a couple of frames but too far away for me to be sure. It looks like it was always raining, I promise, it wasn't, but what a great name for a blog...

(I'm the wee girl at 4:13 in my natty white jacket and orange bag.)

Sunday, January 01, 2017

A New Year Resolution

Gillmorehill in Snow (circa 1930)  by Tom Maxwell, Scottish, 1870-1940:

Gilmorehill in Snow (circa 1930) by Tom Maxwell, Scottish, 1870-1940

Yes, I know, resolutions are a bad idea but bear with me. 

Every day I want to do something creative, even if it's only sharing someone else's talent (in fact that's possibly the better idea).  I have an entire Pinterest board...okay, several, full of inspiring images. This world is going to be difficult and tumultuous enough this year so, for the sake of the mental health of all then I will persevere. 

Let us begin with a Scottish artist and a scene that will be familiar with Glaswegians, that impressive building is Glasgow University. This etching is from around 1930 and is so wonderfully atmospheric, you can hear the crump of footsteps, muffled in the heavy snow. For such a simple piece it conveys the scene entirely. 

I sound like I'm about to disappear into that awful artistic elite speak, I'm not. When you see a piece of art that reaches out and keeps you looking, long after all the details have been taken in, then it's a talent to be appreciated.

Tom Maxwell is not very well-known, which is a shame. He was an illustrator for the Evening Times, a daily newspaper in Glasgow. His home and studio were based in Elmbank Street, Charing Cross, Glasgow. If you go on Google Maps you'll see the street has some original buildings left. The Glasgow City Council town planners have a lot to answer for.

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Hogmanay 2016

Gone is another tough year in what seems like an endless parade of tough years. Perhaps 2017 will be better (remembers Trump and Brexit), perhaps not.

Before Rabbie Burns wrote "Auld Lang Syne", before it became the go-to song to sing as Hogmanay made way for the new year there was this -

The Parting Glass is still widely sung in Ireland apparently, or at least in this video it is. That's Celtic culture, though, it wavers between the two countries and for as long as we in Scotland are befuddled by what is our history and what is not then it remains Irelands to claim.

Despite the daft dresses and the obligatory appearance of bagpipes, it is a beautiful song.

Of all the money that e'er I spent 
I've spent it in good company 
And all the harm that ever I did 
Alas it was to none but me 
And all I've done for want of wit 
To memory now I can't recall 
So fill to me the parting glass 
Good night and joy be with you all 
If I had money enough to spend 
And leisure to sit awhile
There is a fair maid in the town 
That sorely has my heart beguiled 
Her rosy cheeks and ruby lips 
I own she has my heart enthralled 
So fill to me the parting glass 
Good night and joy be with you all 
Oh, all the comrades that e'er I had 
They're sorry for my going away 
And all the sweethearts that e'er I had 
They'd wish me one more day to stay 
But since it falls unto my lot 
That I should rise and you should not 
I'll gently rise and softly call 
Good night and joy be with you all

Good night and joy be with us all in 2017, we desperately need it.